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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  December 14, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PST

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at 9:30 or so this morning, shots rang out as at least one gunman entered that school and that gunman is dead. as police have been telling us now, 20 children dead, 18 of them dead at the scene. and in addition to that, six adults are also dead, including the principal of the school. we understand that yet another adult was found dead at another location that police are not officially disclosing as of yet. and we are told that the mother of the suspected shooter, who is also dead at the scene, was also killed. she is a teacher and she was also killed at that school, according to our law enforcement sources. in addition to this, we are also told by our sources that another person is being questioned at this time but is not being called a suspect right now, and also that person is not being identified, wolf. so while the school is being
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called secure and safe by law enforcement authorities right now, they are -- they still have a lot of investigating to do. they have not officially released the name of the shooter or the other person being questioned or the names of any of the victims at this time. it's just an awful scene, and parents found out about this, wolf, when they received a lot of them text messages, alerts from the school that had them rushing over to the school as a 911 call came in. police arrived on the scene, they tried to secure the scene and make sure that it was safe so that all the children were immediately evacuated from the school and brought to a safe location nearby where they could be reunited with their parents. we know this one thing from the shooter. we understand that at least three weapons were found at the scene. one of them a glock, one of them a sig sauer and one of them a 223 bushmaster. we don't know exactly what kind
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of models but we have that as well. and here's more about how it all came down from start to finish. these connecticut parents had dropped off their kids for a typical friday at school. then about 9:30 in the morning, they received robo calls and text messages. sandy hook elementary school was put on alert. >> i just got a message saying -- from the superintendent that there was -- there was an unconfirmed shooting and, you know, everybody is in lock down. >> i was a little scared. i felt sick to my stomach. >> reporter: a gunman was firing away as teachers went into lockdown and parents rushed to the scene. >> i heard screaming. and so we -- we went -- like we went to the wall and we sat down and then police came in. it's like is he in here? then he ran out. then our teacher -- then
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somebody yelled get to a safe place. >> inside, children were hiding as a gunman fired away. >> they were cryin in the closet. in the closet of the art room. and eventually, they were leaving and when they were leaving, the police made them hold hands. the police told them to close their eyes. >> told to keep their eyes closed because a gunman was on a killing spree, killing the principal, a counselor, child after child. >> on and off duty troopers responded to the school. that included checking every door, every crack, every crevice, every portion of that school. >> reporter: and again, our understanding is that all of this happened in one particular area of the school, just one area of the school where all the shooting occurred, according to police, in two rooms. they may be two classrooms. we certainly know that the shooter, wolf, was found dead in one of those classrooms as well. so a lot of questions, a lot of heartache and people walking around this small town now in connecticut, newtown,
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connecticut, it's so hard for them to believe and to understand what happened here. back to you. >> they haven't said officially that the shooter wound up killing himself, have they? >> reporter: they have not. they have not revealed that. they have not officially released the shooter's name either. we also understand, remember, there is another adult at another location who was also found dead and we believe that that has some connection to the shooter in this case, and yet someone else was also being questioned. so this investigation is far from over. there is a warrant being served at the place where the suspect lived with someone else, who was also involved in the shooting. and so a lot of questions, of course, as we all have at this time to find out how this happened and, wolf, why this happened. >> many questions that law enforcement will be investigating. susan, stand by. joining us on the phone right now is lieutenant paul vance, a
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spokesman for the connecticut state police. he's in newtown himself. i don't know if you have the answers, lieutenant, and you must be overwhelmed right now. but first of all, can you identify the shooter in this particular case? can you give us that person's name? >> wolf, we do have a tentative identification, but for investigative reasons we're holding back that information for our own purposes. you are correct in saying that there is a secondary scene in newtown away from the school at a private home where there's another deceased adult that may be related to this. just for investigatory reasons, we're holding back that identity right at this time. >> can you tell us if the shooter did have a connection, though, to the school? there's been a lot of speculation that the shooter's mother, for example, was a teacher inside one of those classrooms. >> we need to, again, be extremely cautious in releasing that information. that will be forthcoming, i would say, within the next three or four hours but at this time we haven't discussed that at all.
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>> is there another suspect on the loose right now? i want to clarify that because we are getting conflicting indications. >> in the fashion of what occurred as far as this shooter is concerned, i mean we are talking to everyone who possibly had any connection with him whatsoever. we had to obtain search warrants to search his residence and place of employment and i interviewed friends and relatives and we are really ensuring or making sure that we leave no stone unturned into the background of this individual. >> to make sure that the numbers that we received are precise, 26 people were shot and 20 were children. the shooter himself, do we suspect he killed himself? >> that will be dwrmed by the medical examiner. as far as we know there was no law enforcement discharge of weaponry. it's important to note when the call came in, newtown police
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officers all responded immediately and upon arrival went in with tactical injury. immediately entered the school and began searching every nook and cranny to perform a rescue of the students and staff we possibly could. we did accomplish that task, but encountered as you said the deceased students which numbered 18 in the school and two were transport and pronounced dead and six adults were pronounced dead at the scene and then the secondary senior which was another adult. >> can you tell us about this scene if there was a connection between the shooter and the person who was dead? >> it's all preliminary. i am directing 99% of my attention to the school. you can understand there is a great deal going on trying to
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keep family and friends and relatives informed as far as what we know. we certainly discovered that scene in concert with this investigation as i was saying. we did a lot of work we have all related areas. >> in newtown itself in this vicinity in that smalltown. >> it's a smalltown. it's not far away. i would be condit with you. it was in a residence right here in the town. the secondary scene was located by troopers. >> we have one crime scene at the school and another individual is dead. are there others that you are searching or looking at? >> we have a great deal of
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personnel here. we brought in not just crime team, but another. we are responding and check everything and anything that could possibly be related to the tragedy participating here. john king is here with us here at cnn and has a question he wants to ask. >> lieutenant, i know your officers are collecting evidence at the scene. what is your preliminary estimate of how many shots were fired in the school? >> that's a tough one. i wouldn't even venture a guess quite frankly. we will have to determine that with several systems of checks and balances. one certainly being a medical examination of the deceased and collecting physical evidence and shells and examining the weaponry and collecting any bullets that have been randomly shot. it will be a long process before
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we can guestimate that question. >> i know you are making sure you checked every box, but is it the understanding that the shooter came with a primary target armed for a mass killing and came for a primary target and sources said that was his mother. >> i can't answer that question because the information has not been provided as of yet. >> were there explosives provided in addition to the weapons? >> no. that's a good question because once the scene was secure, we realized the tactical team will check the sites and the vehicles and anything to do with the shooter to ensure that there were in fact no explosives or no other issues needed to engage. >> did the shooter in addition coming in with these weapons also have -- was he dressed in armor and did he have protection for himself? >> i don't know the answer to
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that. >> he was obviously found dead-on the scene and no other law enforcement that came in to kill anyone. presumably this individual wound up killing himself, but you can't confirm that yet. is that right? >> that's correct. that's a good assessment as to what we know so far. >> john has one more question. >> we are told that the second scene that the neighbors were evacuateed from their homes around the home, was that as a precaution or do you have an indication or concern that there heavy weapons or explosives? >> it's a procedure of what we do and we want to be cautious and err on the side of caution. we evacuated the neighbors in the event that there was anything that was harmful as we begin to examine the scene. >> was this person a known person of concern to local law enforcement or when you found out his identification, you are not releasing it and when you
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found it out, was it a total surprise? >> i am not aware of a specific history and that's something that the detectives will look at as they continue the examination of the entire case and we will make it a point to know his history. everything that we will do in this case. >> when are you release the numbers, lieutenant, one thing in addition to the huge number, 26 people killed and 20 of them children. you pointed out that one person was injured. only one injury. what does that say to you that 26 people were shot and killed and only one person injured? >> to put it bluntly, this is a very, very tragic scene for everybody. certainly our hearts are broken for the families here. the first responders that had to go to the school and see the carnage and the deaths this time
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of year, i can almost havetime. this is right up there. >> what a horrific story. lieutenant vance, thanks so much for updating the viewers here in the united states and around the world. the story unfortunately is so ho hisk o risk, but people all over the world are appreciating what's going on and we are only beginning to get the beginning of this information. lieutenant paul vance is with the connecticut state police. thank you very much, lieutenant. joining us now on the phone is a parent as well. tell us where you were and what was going on. your connection to the school. >> my daughter is a third grader and she was there actually in her reading class. they heard bangs and thank god for mrs. summers.
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her reading teacher grabbed my daughter and brought her into a bathroom. she locked the door along with another teacher. in a short time, some police were able to get them out of there and escort them through the hall ways. unfortunately it was a messy scene for my daughter. >> i spoke with your wife, lisa and she said your daughter seems to be okay. you also have a 10-year-old son. how are the kids doing now? >> i don't know if my daughter is in shock or not, but from what she told me she saw, she is doing incredibly well. my son is doing great too, but there is a lot of fears. the game is changed from this point on. per are what does that mean when you say the game is changed. >> my kids are asking when is it going to happen again. it was only a week ago we were
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talking about this type of situation and i said the chances of it happening are one in a zillion at sandy hook. i was wrong about that. >> we know you knew the principal, dawn hochsprung who was killed in the mass murder today. tell us a little bit about her. >> she was just so nice and she loved her job. on a couple of occasions she went out of her way just to help us with certain things that we were working on with our daughter. this is all so surreal so forgive me if i am cloudy. >> we appreciate it and can't imagine what you are going through. john king has a question. >> sadly in any community when tragedy like this happens, there notification systems and how specific was that information and obviously the officials at
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the school were dealing with a tragedy. do you think that part was handled appropriately? >> i think they did the best they could do. i don't know how you prepare for something this crazy. my wife called me. i work in new york and my wife told me there was a shooting and i rushed home. my wife was already in town. so far the newtown school system has been great in leaving automatic phone updates with the parents. >> a sad story. quick question before i let you go. at some point you will have to make a decision about letting your kids go back to sandy hook elementary school. what are you going to do? >> this is all so new. i have been talking to my kids and explaining this is what happened. you do your best to communicate with them and do your best to --
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it's funny that a bomb hits and there is a lot of smoke and it's still here. i haven't had enough time to really plan, but hopefully by the time they go back to school, i will have done a good enough job of making them feel as comfortable as they can be. >> how is your wife doing? >> she is hanging in there. >> give all of them our love and sympathy and support. we wish them only the best. this is a parent of the kids from that sandy hook elementary school. the kids got out okay, but obviously 20 other children did not get out okay. 18 of them died on the scene and two others died at the hospital as a result of the injuries. >> i think a remarkable conversation dealing with the unthinkable in trying to explain to young children in the middle
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of the holiday season that the unthinkable happened in their school and for many of the children when they go back, many of their friends won't be there. it's a tough task for the parents. i wanted to wrap up the conversation and understandably you covered stories like this in the past. the police are being careful what they say and i wanted to give you more of the information i have. federal law enforcement officials based on information from their people on the scene and the state police on the scene do believe that the shooter showed up with the intent of obviously armed for a mass killing, but they believe his mother, a teacher there was the primary target and most of the devastation happened in and around her classroom at the school. that is the theory they are operating under as they collect the evidence in the scene and they found a family member slain at the second site in newtown and they are interviewing friends and roommates as they try to put this together. their belief at this point is he
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arrived at the school and went directly towards and to her classroom and most of the killing was done in that area. >> the children were killed right there. they found three weapons, is that right? these are pretty sophisticated weapons they found. when you hear these numbers, 26 people kill and 20 of them children and one injured. if you have a situation where people are killed, there is a lot of other people. looks like this person wanted to execute this person. i was told that the number of spent shells were mind-numbing. when the gunman opened fire, it was in a concentrated area. he was in the in the halls. in and around his mother's
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classroom, but that he just kept firing. >> he a lot of rounds. some of the eyewitnesss were telling us they heard boom, boom, boom, boom. never ending what they heard coming from the middle classrooms. >> the number of shots fired that i think is the reason why you don't have five, six, 15 people treated at the hospital. it's a low number. because of the devastation. >> mary snow is on the scene in newtown, connecticut. you are outside the shooter's mother's home we respect in newtown, is that right? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. you are talking to lieutenant vance of the connecticut state police. presumably he was talking about this scene. police have been here for hours now. several hours. just about an hour ago, we saw a s.w.a.t. team leaving the scene. it has been blocked off. not only to us, but to residents who can't go into the homes.
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we did also see an ambulance leaving the scene about 3:15 and police are being tight-lipped here about the location where they are. we can you from residents, one who lived near the suspect's mother said that police came in at about 11:00 to her home and told hershey needed to get out right away. at one point she was escorted back to her house and told she had to leave again. there is no time table being given to the residents about when they can reenter their homes. many law enforcement vehicles are at this scene and in terms of what neighbors are saying, these homes are far apart. we haven't found many neighbors who knew the suspect or his mother, but we reached one woman who just described the suspect
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at troubled and saying the parents were divorce and didn't want to go further than that. this community is so shaken to the core and filling up with tears any time you approach them saying so many young children are in the community. >> this is a small community. to set the scene, only about 80 miles from new york city and 40 miles or so from hartford. under 2,000 people live in newtown. it's a small community not far from danbury, connecticut. peaceful and wonderful place where we heard from a lost individuals with families who moved there because the school system is considered excellent there and despite the sandy hook elementary school, kindergarten to fourth great is a wonderful school although this tragedy devastated so many folks. >> reporter: yeah.
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people had such high praise for the school system here and it has been described as a sleepy new england town. it's lined with beautiful homes on a very quiet road here. the shock is such an under statement to say that that's what people are saying. they just hear it over and over again that people never thought something like this can happen. >> they can't believe it and it is unbelievable, but it happened and it's real unfortunately. so real. mary, stand by. adam reece is in hoboken, new jersey across the river from new york city. he is joining us. what's the connection, explain to the viewers the connection between what happened in newtown, connecticut and what's going on in hoboken, new jersey right now. >> wolf, we believe the shooter may have lived here. this may be the location where he may have set out from this morning to head up to newtown, connecticut. police tell us they have in
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custody two people who may have been roommates of his. they are being questioned. they do not believe they were involved in the shooting. fbi and local police and a lom squad have been here for most of the afternoon. fbi agents went back into the building. it's a five-story building and has two halves to it. three bedrooms inside. it's a rental and i talked to several residents here who live in the building and nearby. none of them know the shooter, alleged shooter or his brother who may have lived here. they have seen pictures in news reports. the pictures do not look familiar to them. you may know that hoboken is a waterfront community that looks across from new york city. it's a growing community for young professionals and hit hard by hurricane sandy. we wait and there has been no movement other than the police
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here that you see in the picture standing guard. fbi edagents are coming back an forth. >> the whole area is cordoned off? we are looking at live pictures and police officers and we see the tape posted. give us a description of what you are seeing. >> at least two blocks in east direction is blocked off. a huge media presence waiting to see what developed here and whether or not this is in fact the home of the alleged shooter, whether or not his brother lived here with him. what the connection is to newtown. what the connection is with his mother. there is a facebook page that indicates his home here, that he is originally from newtown. i cannot confirm that's him and his page. that's all we know. the area is cordoned off and at
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least two blocks in each direction. local police there saying anything providing the news media with any information? >> there was a very short briefing from the local police chief. as i indicated before, two people are in custody. they may be the shooter's roommates, but they don't believe they had involvement in the shooting. >> when we say in custody, it sounds like they had a role. maybe more precisely, they are just being questioned about what they know or may have known about the alleged shooter. >> right. i don't want to suggest they had any role. it just may be they are looking to find out more background information about the alleged shooter. >> i think that's an important distinction that or viewers appreciate. anything else you want to update the viewers with? >> anxiously anticipating what may come out of this and what's inside the apartment and may lead us to understand why
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someone may have done this. what kind of reading material he had and what is on his computer. we just don't know. >> there a lot of questions that will have to be answer and if there is a statement or indication as to why this individual went to the small elementary school, sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut and opened fire killing a teacher or principal and 20 children in greats kindergarten through fourth grade. what a shocking story. we will stay in close touch with you. a young boy at the school where the shooting happened described how he and other children escaped. >> i was in the gym at the time. so the teacher and we heard a lost bangs. we thought it was the custodian knocking stuff down and we heard
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screaming. we went to the wall and sat down and then a police came in and said is he in here and ran out. our teacher and someone yelled get to a safe place. we went to the closet in the gym. we sat there for a little while and then the police were knocking on the door and they were like we are evacuating people. we ran out and there were police at every door leading us down this way, down this way, quick, quick, come on. we ran down to the firehouse. there was a man pinned down to the ground with handcuffs on and we thought that was the victim. we didn't get a good glance at him because there was a car blocking it. plus we were running really quick. then we got to the firehouse and
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we sat in our classes and we were all really happy we were all alive. >> by the way, when we intrude these young kids, we do it only with their parents's permission. their parents are there on the scene. we don't talk to the children unless the parents say they want the child to speak out and they are there to watch these interviews. we are very sensitive to young children in these kind of tragedies. obviously a lot of families are feeling the pain right now. we heard earlier from the president of the united states. let's bring in dr. drew pinsky, the host of dr. drew on our sister network, hln. we have been talking about what's going on. these kind of tragic incidents often can be prevented if loved ones, family members and neighbors and friends pay attention to warning signs. >> that's right, wolf. paying attention is the big lesson from so much we have been
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hearing in the news. denial by family members and parents is the enemy. you cannot imagine how many situations i have been in where i give family members very specific directions to prevent disasters and they choose to stay in denial and come to terms with the fact that their loved one is not doing well and may not be trust worthy and may be aggressive or violent. as i sit and listen to the story, i have been watching this wonderful coverage you have been providing that helps us understand what happened as the days go on. we will try to understand why it happened. the feelings that rush over me and run from sadness to disgust and rage myself. disgust is mostly where i find myself today. disgust that these lives should have been extinguished so young, we cannot allow these lives to have been lost in vain. you did a remarkable interview with a father of a young child in one of the rooms. he said they had just discussed
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the issue and i'm sure he was talking about the oregon shooter and reassuring this is children this could never happen in their community and now he is addressing them with the question they are asking him, when is this going to happen again? that is the question that every one of our children will ask us tonight. they will feel vulnerable and when is it going to happen to us and happen again? these stories are flooding the news and we must, each of us as a household lead our way out of this. this requires leadership. our political leaders are sort of not giving us quite what i think we need today. we will be okay. this is a resilient country and we will get through this. we are in a new zone when evil prevailed. we are not going to allow this. it's okay to be firm and empathetic with people if someone is misbehaving. be firm and take action. we will get through this. it's going to be okay. that's what we have to tell our
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kids. >> what motivates someone to go out and shoot and kill children? >> you are asking a question that it fills me with disgust to have to answer. it's one thing to explain what happened in oregon. perhaps this young man had a break or was exposed to a chemical or something that caused him to think in a distorted way. this is not just that. this is somebody who felt entitle and justified to act out. this is grandiosity and feeling special. this is feeling like he is more important than any of these other lives or exposed us to this violence and is going to show why he is so important and feel very justified in what he is doing. this is a longer term kind of distorted thinking than what we saw in oregon. >> then this person supposedly
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winds up killing himself. it seems so totally crazy. >> right. why wouldn't he just kill himself? why does he have to take the lives with him? that is the grandiosity and the distortion and the entitlement and aggression. when people talk about evil, i suspect that's what we are talking about here. i don't know what happened and the details about this man's mental health, but i suspect it's going to be chronic severe troubled behavior that for whatever reason was not properly managed. >> before i let you go, chemical imbalances in the brain, sometimes you hear psychiatrists and psychologists talking about something that snaps and causes people to do this. give us your sense. >> that's what i was talking about just days ago in relation to oregon. that was more that kind of a circumstance. this no doubt there was stress.
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all human behavior is because of this instrument up here. something obviously did cross a threshold for him that caused him to act out violently. again this is something of a more chronic, severe, structural wiring nature in the brain and regions not firing or never firing that would allow someone to be em pathic or feel like a part of humanity. there parts of the brain that allow us to feel that way. those parts of the brain in terms of misfiring the brain, i suspect those are the areas we will see chronically were not operating normally. >> not normally at all. thanks very much for your perspective. our producer has been in a firestorm here where the panic rushed to find their children and many of the parents are inside right now including parents who have lost their
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kids. describe the information you have seen and heard. >> we had imagine vehicles in and around this firehouse and they make their way towards the school. this is the stopping point where emergency vehicles stop at and head towards the school. we have seen atf and fbi. many of them carry assault weapons and wearing gear and like you mentioned, there families still inside this firehouse. i think it's a short while ago really quite a moving scene. there were three sets is of prarnts thae can only assume are parent couples walking out of the firehouse and their eyes were bloodshot and lips trembling and the firemen es coring them out seemed as visibly shaken as them. they are not talking to anyone, but it's a small slice of what's happening and it happened throughout the day here. since i have been standing here,
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you see those parents and you see the individuals and nurses and you see school cafeteria workers. you see nuns even walking in and around and speaking with those emergency workers and speaking with parents. there few words that you can put to someone. ask them about what they are feeling. i was thinking about what i might say about all of this. it's one of the few instances that leaves you without words to capture the tree magnitude of what happened here. i walked into town earlier and sat in a restaurant and people are watching the news. they will pick their head back up and watch again. others are at the media staging area to get a sense of what is transpiring and the sense of wanting to be with the community. like you mentioned, this is a
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small sleepy town in new england. there is a cemetery that sits over the overpass that looks on to that firehouse and down the road is the school. when you think about what transpired in that school, it's like dr. drew said, it leaves with you a sense of disgust. >> total disgust. it's going to be dark there pretty soon, but the firehouse where you are, the parents and loved ones are being consoled by grief counsellors and others. clergy inside as well. we spoke to a rabbi who is inside consoling the family members. >> what you can do to console someone who just lost a child. someone at that age, i can't begin to imagine. the word inconsolable applies
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here. this is something that the community is going to be dealing with and realing for for a long time now. you talk to residents and get the sense that a lot of these people know each other. a lot of people moved to the area from what they told because of the school system. i talked to a treecher who said that. to have something like this take place in one of the schools and one of the elementary schools at that, it just leaves you without words. >> david, thanks very much for that update. one of our producers on the scene. we have mary snow there and susan candiotti. we have other reporters and producers watching what's going on in newtown, connecticut. also we saw adam reece on the scene in hoboken, new jersey, a connection between a residential area and what unfolded at the small elementary school in newtown, connecticut.
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i want you to listen it a local nurse who ran to the scene soon after the shooting and described what she saw. >> i see you have been crying. >> yes. >> is it because of what you saw? >> no, they wouldn't let us in the building. all i can say is one of the cops said it was the worst thing he had seen in his entire career. it was when they told all these parent who is were waiting for their parents to come out, they thought they were still alive. there is 20 parents that were just told their children are dead. it was awful. >> awful indeed. ashleigh banfield is now on the scene for us in newtown, connecticut as well. i know you got there a little while ago, but give our viewers a sense of what you are seeing and hearing. >> i'm in the same place that the connecticut governor dan malloy updated us all. you can see from the collection of microphones this is a
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concentrated media center. there dozens of reporters here and arriving every moment. i hate to bring this up, but it gives me the sense of columbine and how massive the scope of this story has become. one of the updates we got, devastating detail on this. that is the investigation that is about to ensue. wolf, the bodies of those children are still in the school. 18 children died in the school and were dead on the scene. two more taken to the hospital and died there. the six adults also who died at the school, their bodies are still there. the police who updated us told us that the scope of the investigation, the amount of work they have to do to piece this all together is going to take a very long time. you can imagine how the parents are dealing with the fact that they can't even get the information or at least know that their child is being brought out of that school. it is just overwhelming in this tiny community of 27,000 people.
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in the sticks. when you drive here, you are winding roads and hills and the homes are far apart and yet the community is quite close together. a couple of other things that shed light on the detail on how the shooting took place, the police told us that the shootings were concentrated and they were in an area of the school, particularly two rooms. there wasn't running through the halls as they described it. no shooter running through the halls and shooting. it might give some description as to why we think there was a concentration of one entire dlasz is unaccounted for that the shooting happened in those two rooms. there was another crime scene now in this tiny town of newtown, connecticut. police are investigating another in a home. we can tell you that there were many couch terms being used. people are being very careful in how they report this, but they said the shooter in the school lived with one of the victims. we also know that his mother was a kindergarten teacher and shot
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dead in the school. whether that is the home where they are investigating as well is unclear. his father living in the town as well and a brother too. there is a lot of detail we need to piece together. another detail that came from the mouth of a child with the sweetest voice who is being intrude earlier this afternoon. this child told a story of how the teachers tried to protect them from the information as they were getting them out of the school, saying there was an animal in the school and that's why they needed to lock the doors to protect them from the noise they could hear which was a wild animal that got into the school. to hear that tiny voice telling that, it was pretty remarkable. >> i know this is a difficult story for all of us to cover. i know you have children. >> i have two small children in a connecticut school about 30 minutes away from here as well. when the news broke it was tough to sort out where it happened. which elementary school it was. as the details roll in,
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everybody has been immensely affected and apologize, but it is remarkable to see this many seasoned reporters who i have been in the field with for 20 years all having the same reaction to what's transpired. >> you choked up and the president of the united states is choking up and wiping away tears as well. your girls, how are they? your kids. >> my kids are fine. what's interesting is even though they are about i half hour away from here, when i called the school to find out is everything okay and are we under lockdown and what's the protocol and are you sending the kids home? it affected them deeply. did perimeter checks and made sure that all the locked doors were locked. they did something i didn't know about. they went into an information protective mode and said no one is allowed to discussions the details within the school ls. in the only 30 minutes away, but they would have staff and
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security outside that school sto handle the ptial for children to hear about it. they clearly want the kids to hear about it from their parents. they are all going to hear about it and ask questions and make sure they are sensitive to the surrounding children as they can be. it is a really overwhelming feeling to live here and to be here as a reporter. >> it's a powerful,owerl image that you are presenting and just think about it. saturday and sunday, kids don't have to go to school, but monday morning, kids in your neighborhood and newtown, connecticut and all over the united states, they are going to be going back to school the week before christmas and what an awful time to have to endure this pain. >> i tell you what, wolf. the school is beyond those trees. i don't know if it's light enough to see. we are located in the staging area where the police wanted to make sure the hundreds of media they would send here would be able to be safely park and out of the way of the residents. beyond this playing field and
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over those trees is where the school is located. because one of the descriptions that came in from someone who was in a meeting with seven grown up when is this happened, there were roughly 100 rounds that this parent could hear. a woman telling her story. the investigation alone, once the tiny bodies are removed and the adults are removed. the investigation of the trajectory and where the bullets landed or angle the bullets came from, there was so much that will need to be known. i doubt anyone will be coming to this school for a long time. >> police are going to be getting their investigation. please stand by. i will come back to you and i know you are collecting more information here in washington. there is a vigil outside the white house and a lot of people are gathering right now. the president ordered all flags flown at half-staff until december 18th. you can see the pictures coming in from the white house. these are people who want gun control and they are holding a
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vigil outside the white house right now inside the white house. a little while ago, president obama went into the briefing room to address the american people and became very emotional. >> this afternoon i spoke with governor malloy and fbi director mullen. i offered governor malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, couple their families. we have endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years and each time i learn the news, i react not as a president, bz anybody else would, as a parent. that was especially true today. i know there is not a parent in america who doesn't feel the
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same overwhelming grief that i do. the majority of those who died today were children. beautiful kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. they had their entire lives ahead of them. birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. among the fallen were also teachers and men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. our hearts are broken today. for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children and for the families of
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the adults who were lost. our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well. for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know their children's innocence has been torn away from them too early and there no words that will ease their pain. as a country we have been through this too many times. whether it's an elementary school in newtown or a shopping mall in oregon or temple in wisconsin or a movie theater in aurora or a street corner in chicago. these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. we are going to have to coming to and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics. this evening michelle and i will do what i know every parent in america will do which is hug our
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children a little tighter and tell them we love them and we will remind each other how deeply we love one another. there families who cannot do that tonight. they need all of us right now. our days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as americans and i will do everything in my power as president to help. because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one,all of us can extend a hand to those in need to remindhem that we're there for them and we are praying for them and that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories, but in ours. may god bless the memory of the victims and in the words of scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their
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wounds. >> the president of the united states obviously very, very emotional like so many millions and millions of people all over the country right now. we will take a quick break and resume the special coverage right after this.
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kindergarten through fourth grade. how do families and children cope when a tragedy happens like the one that unfolded today in connecticut? lisa sylvester is here and taking a closer look at this story. it hit so powerfully. you have kids and the period has kids. we heard ashleigh banfield react. >> i have a kindergartener and you say you waive goodbye to your child and they have their backpack and you assume you will see them later. i don't think there is a parent out there who has seen this story and not impacted by what happened today. for parents it is hard to comprehend or say the words 20 children killed. we are talking about a class of very young children. how do you make sense of it all? it's hard as an adult and a parent, but it's tougher if you are a child. if there is an image that sums up this story, it is this.
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any parent out there can relate. psychiatrist charles raisin is with the university of arizona's college of medicine. >> how do you wrap your mind around something like this? with a good deal of heart break with the understanding that will it take a while and there will be people that were closely impacted by this who will never wrap their minds around this. the human minds are not infinite. this is appearing to be probably the worst school catastrophy in history. there will be a huge fallout for this that will also impact the people's emotional well being and we need to gear ourselves up for the fallout. this is a horrible thing. >> the news is traumatic for parents and children. this happened at a school where kids are supposed to feel safe. >> how do you explain it to children? it depends on the age of the child, but simple forthright explanations are the best. one of the things i tell
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children is there some bad people in the world and sometimes bad people do terrible things. a terrible thing happened and there have been children killed. this is terrible, but you are safe and you necessary a situation now where you are not going to be harmed. >>. >> the american academy of pediatrics said take into account the age of the child and do not offer details that may ah larm them. ask them what they know and answer questions. parents can share feelings in the way they are coping and find ways to help others. >> children are resilient and what matters now is how we help them understand what's happened and even i think more importantly -- >> here's the police chief. let's listen in for the latest. >> we are limited as to some of the details we can give out to you for obvious reasons.
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first let me state that i have told you the number of deceased in the building and the hospital and the secondary crime scene. it's our policy that we have to establish positive identification of those victims. it's a time consuming process and something that will take a great deal of time. they worked closely to expedite that and get it done as efficiently as possible. as i told you, the families have been assigned a trooper or officer as a line of communication. that was done to ensure the families that they have constant communication with the investigation and they won't have on sit and watch television news or anything. they will be the first to know any of the progress that is made as the investigation continues on. as i stated earlier, the assets utilized initially were when the call came in, newtown police department respond and called for hospital. they sent out officers and the
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state police sent off duty and on duty troopers to respond to gain access to the building and begin that search process that i alluded to before. we had the say the police team and canine teams out here. we had trooper in the air and take some of your helicopters away, quite frankly, but every possible asset came out to the scene the minute this alarm came in or this call came in. it was certainly to do everything we could to protect and property. the community has been outstanding in supporting the effort. you have taken over their park and they are showing up and offering condolences and doing everything they possible low can to support the victims. the victims's families of this horrific tragedy. the fbi crisis management team offered to respond here tomorrow to assist a crisis management
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and not only with the families and the family members, but with all the first responders and the police and fire and ems. all working at what i described as a horrific and difficult scene. certainly a local mental health crisis intervention team had been on scene and have been here all of today working and assisting and helping. i wanted to make it clear that there were 18 children pronounced dead at the scene and two children transported to area hospitals and pronounced dead at the hospital. six adults pronounced dead at the scene and obviously the shooter was also pronounced dead at the scene. i don't have much detail about the secondary scene, but there is a related scene we discovered as we were continuing the criminal investigation and specifically investigating the shooter. you probably saw and someone asked me about the bomb skad and
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yes, we brought all our assets in in case they were needed and we went out to search or execute search warrants or examine other scenes, we took them with us to ensure they were right there to react if it was necessary. that's about all i have as far as the details are concerned. i want to give you one more briefing and try it get back up here for more briefing. i will take a couple of brief questions, but i must tell you there certain things we cannot discuss. >> do we have anyone in the hospital now that survived this? >> no, sir. one person was injured that suffered an injury and did survive, yes. >> can you confirm the body of the male? >> i can't confirm. i know about the secondary scene and i didn't have time to get into detail. i will do that for 6:00. >> what's the shooter's identity? >> i will not confirm that.
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we have a tentative identification and working with that. we will not confirm the identity and put that out there. we will at an appropriate time. it's not appropriate to do that right now. >> what happened with the investigation in hoboken? >> it's part and parcel of what we do. we will leave no stone unturned as we electric at every facet of the investigation whether it's the shooter or the victims. we will look at everything. we certainly will go in and out of state and work with fellow law enforcement including federal agency fist we need to to answer every question to exactly what transpired here and it will be a cross that will get it done. >> right now, one shooter. yes, sir. >> it was k-4. kindergarten through fourth grid. that's the school. they were all students of that school.
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i don't know the grade they were in. i don't know that. it was one section and two classrooms. i couldn't tell you. i didn't find that out. your question? that's part of the process. that's why it took us a long time to get here. any students unaccounted for, we had to ensure that we accounted for every student and that includes maybe someone that was absent for the day because of illness and didn't come to school. that was part of the process we had to go through and now we have the identification process which is even more difficult. it's sometime before we are able to give you that information. it probably won't be available until sometime tomorrow. did we identify the weapons? yes, we have. >> how many? >> we will not discuss that at this time.
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>> you reaching the parents? >> we would not come up here until we have been in contact with the parents and communicating with them since they arrived here at the scene. they have been fully inform and that's why it took so long to come up here. >> how were the first responders dealing with this. no one can expect to walk into a school and see those mass casualtie casualties. >> that's a good question. everyone believes that it's something that first responders do and law enforcement does, but we provided counseling for the first responders because this was a very tragic horrific scene they encountered. it's not something we want to see. it's not something we see every day. that's one thing we had done and the colonel made that perfectly clear that those people are to be spoken to and receive crisis counseling as required. >> you have to be the face of what's happening and --
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[inaudible]. >> the lieutenant can tell you. >> a person -- [inaudible]. >> can you say your name, please? >> lieutenant george cinco. sinko. >> you can tell us also the ones you have. >> this is most definitely the worst thing we had experienced here in town. tragic. right now we are concerned about the families of the victims. our officers are professional and we will deal with this as well. >> you can describe the scene with the parents and the place
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where people are getting together? >> the local hospital offered crisis intervention and will be available at reed intermediate school and they are available right now if need be and will be there all weekend. >> is there a place where parents are gathering and can you describe that? >> the parents have gathered at the local firehouse which is adjacent to the school and we have done our best to comfort them and try to reassure them that we have done everything we can. as mentioned, it's a difficult process to confirm the status of an entire elementary school. we need to be right when we do that. . >> we have to think about the families right now and do everything we can for them. >> was one of the teachers --
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[inaudible]. >> we can't confirm that right now. the investigation is ongoing. the parents still there? >> there parents there, yes. i don't have a number for you. i don't have a number for you. >> when did you realize the magnitude? how long did it take? >> minutes after the officers were there they realized what a horrific scene we had. [inaudible] >> i don't have the exact timeline on that. officers responded immediately and as soon as they realized what they had, we asked for the resourc resources. all right? thank you. >> we just finished. we will come back around 6:00
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and get back with one more briefing and a scheduled briefing probably tomorrow. some of you folks look tire and want some rest. we will see if we can give you a schedule for tomorrow. okay? >> there we have the latest coming from the state police from local law enforcement in newtown, connecticut. we want to welcome back the viewers in the united states and around the world. this is breaking news. unimaginable horror grips the nation in one of the deadliest school shootings in u.s. history. a tragedy so wrenching it reduced the president of the united states to tears. right now 27 people are confirmed dead in connecticut's sandy hook elementary school massacre. 20 children and six adults and the alleged shooter. all of this happening within a matter of a few hours.
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watch this. the sights and sounds of this tragedy as it played out. >> when i was getting in my car, i heard sirens going off continuously. car after car after car. some of them were flying past my house and coming around again and going to the school. this house is three houses away from the school. >> when we first arrived, there was not a lot of security to guard. there were three children that came out. one of them had a very bleed face. >> he immediately jumped in the car and headed down here. it's troubling. it was mayhem in the room with the kids and the teachers and trying to identify your kid and making sure they are and finding out what the situation was and making sure everyone was safe. it started with the neighbors and the rest of their friends. >> what did your daughter say to you? >> they were immediately crying. petrified of what happened and
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what did it mean and they are older than the other kids in the school so understanding what happened, my son was in the gym when it happened. i think they heard the gunshots. >> we saw police officers and heard them on the roof and in our building. >> did you hear gunshots or anything like that? >> the police officers were kind of. there were police officers out the door trying to find the guy. >> it was shocking. i got the call at work this morning. i can't believe a small down like this would have anything like this happen. to be in an elementary school, it's unheard of. >> it doesn't even seem real. it does not seem like it's even possible. you read it in the newspaper or see it in the news and you are like my god, that poor family. then you have something happen so close to home. i think i'm still in shock. >> i can tell you that our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of this terrible incident. very tragic. our police are currently working
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closely with the newtown police department and mutual aide that allows us to provide assets they may not have along with the state police that have taken the lead in this investigation. >> it was terrifying and i'm still in shock about it all. >> was everybody crying and scare and want their parents to come get them? >> yeah, they were and some people were even like kind of felt like they got a stomach ache. >> they wouldn't let us in the building. one of the cops said it was the worst thing he had seen in his entire career. when they told the parents and they were waiting for the children to come out and they thought they were still alive. there is 20 parents that were told that their children are dead. it was awful. >> awful. you can't imagine how awful it must be for the parents and loved ones and the family members in the small town of
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newtown, connecticut. this is a small elementary school. grades kindergarten through fourth great. 5 through 10-year-olds. 20 of them gunned down by a killer today. six adults killed as well. mary snow is joining us now from outside the suspect's mother's home we believe. is that correct? >> that is correct. we just left the location and we had been there several hours throughout the afternoon. the investigation stretched to that home and it's being treat said as a crime scene. we found s.w.a.t. teams and we can tell you that the residents near that home were told to evacuate earlier today. we talked to one neighbor who said she was told around 11:00 this morning by police to get out right away. she is out of her home able to
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get into her house. as far as what we saw, they are being tight-lipped about that location where the investigation had continued. i can tell you that in addition s.w.a.t. teams, we did see an ambulance at one point while we were there leaving shortly after 3:00 this afternoon. neighbors were numb really. a number of them couldn't even talk to us. they are so filled with emotion. one neighbor did talk to us. she knew the family of the suspect and described him as trouble and didn't elaborate further than that. it is being put together with the suspect's family. in newtown, connecticut outside
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the suspect's mother's home. we are getting more information. size susan canned lotiy is getting more information. walk us through what we know at this point. all of this is subject to change. the information is still coming in. walk us through what we know and how it went down. >> you are absolutely right to caution about this. what we do know. i covered an awful lot of school shootings over the years and the early information always seems to change. this is what we know about the timeline of the shootings as reported by law enforcement and witnesses and the lay out of the school as best we can piece it together. remember this is just a very rough approximatation. about 9:30 this morning, class has been under way for about a half hour. more than 600 students, the school principal and vice principal and the school psychologist and several other adults were having a meeting up here in this part of the school.
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they gathered near the office area at that time. around 9:40 according to what a lot of eyewitnesss have to say is when it appeared the gunman enters the building. we don't really know how. we know that later today police were looking at a car out here parked by a fire lane. based on what eyewitnesss said, there was a good reason to think he came through the front door into this area. we don't have a guarantee, but it sounds like that. right away people throughout this entire building started hearing shots. some cases they said it sounded like bangs or someone hammering. people started saying they could hear something. by 9:41 or so, calls were coming into 911. the principal and the school psychologist according to witnesses were in a meeting in this part of the building came out of that meeting and they go towards the gunfire out here in a hall way.
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here or here. they go out there and the people in the room say they hear many, many more shots and a lot of shouting and the vice principal comes back in wounded. the other two do not. authorities say the shooting appears to have happened in a relatively short period of time and the gunman does not roam around and stays right in the area here. you heard it over and over again from the officer there. two rooms is where it all happened. around 9:45 or so, teachers in the rest of the building from all we can hear from students and other people who have spoken about it are doing all they can to protect their students. they don't know what is going on. they were near the gym and told to hide in closets and that sort of thing. others it appears the school went into lockdown, but they started leading students away from the school. i'm not sure of the timeline, but we know that by the time the
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officers showed up on the scene, you started having a situation where students were being led away by officers and teachers and everybody who could try to get them out to safety. sometime later, we will put it at 9:50, but we don't really know because it's murky and we will get clarity overtime. it's not clear how or when the gunman dies. we know officers said no officer fired a gun that leads you to believe he shot himself. we don't really know. as officers arrive on the scene, they immediately take control of the entire building. they spread out and securing rooms and making sure they know that if they have the funman, it's 1 and there is not someone else. they are looking everywhere for the pockets of children. they know there kids hidden in the building. in all the school shootings i have seen, this is a common occurrence and the shooting begins with many teachers helping them and go into hiding. that is a very, very dangerous
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situation when the officers go into the building. i had officers say you have people popping out behind you who were in closets and rooms and the officers have to be professional and calm to get through that and control the situation. that's precisely what they did and at that point you have a situation where you were able to see the of officers securing the property all-around and trying to make sure they can see that the gunman was there and leading the kids out as we heard passed actual victims of the shooting. again, all of the timeline is very, very tentative right now and we are going to get a lot more, but the bottom line is it looks like it took maybe 20 or 30 minutes at most from beginning to end from the time to shooter walked in to the time the police officers essentially had everything secured and were going through to make sure they had everything taken care of and the kids cleared out. that's a long process that is going on all day. >> during the few minutes, 26 people were murdered.
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six adults and 20 young children. what a horrific story. thanks very much. let's go to the scene right now in newtown, connecticut. susan cann susan canned lotiy is there. >> i learned that the mother of the suspected shooter who has been identified as nancy lanza was found dead. i have been told that no physical body was found in another home in hoboken, new jersey. there have been other published reports about that. two sources do tell us that someone was taken away for questioning from that house in hoboken, new jersey and that concern is believed to be the suspect's brother in this case. in other words, the brother of the suspected dead shooter in
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this school shooting. the shooter has been described to me as having worn or dressed in black battle fatigues and a military vest when he came into the school and began firing away. i know according to sources that at least three weapons have been recovered. one described as a model 223 bush wacker, a military style semi automatic gun. some of the ammo is used in afghanistan by our soldiers there. that two other guns were also found that are described as hand guns. one a glock. >> the bottom line is that the mother who was a teacher at that school was found dead at her home where mary snow is outside that home because originally we thought the mother was engine the classroom where the gunman opened fire. >> earlier we had information
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that she was found in the classroom, however now i'm told that in fact her body was found at the suspect's residence here in this particular area. we don't know whether she also lived there. we don't know. we also don't know the timeline. when was she killed? was she killed before the shooting began at the school? these are the things that authorities are still trying to piece together. also we have conflicting information about the shooter's name. we have had the name for quite sometime and there is some question as to whether the shooter is described -- which brother's name is which. we have their ages and the names, but we are trying to sort that out. officials have yet to officially release that yet. >> this kind of story, it's not unusual that conflicting information comes in and we constantly update and revise as we get more details.
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initial reports prove to be inaccurate. we are getting conflicted information. we will piece it together in about 20 or 25 minutes. the connecticut state police will have another briefing and maybe we will get more detailed information at that time. susan is on the scene and we have all of our reporters and producers there in newtown and also the investigation continuing in hoboken, new jersey. heart breaking news coverage resumes after this. -
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i saw some of the bullets going past the hall that i was right next to and then a teacher pulled me into her classroom. >> you heard sounds? >> yes. >> what did it sound like? >> it sounded like someone was kicking a door. >> it didn't sound like gun
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shouts? >> no, it didn't. >> that was a young boy from the sandy hook elementary school. his parents are there when our affiliates are there and when we speak to them, we only do it with their parents's permission. we want to update them on that. so many of them came close to being killed boy a killer who went into that school. we went through point by point what happened. the teachers were over there at the school class and attendance sheets came out. it was close for so many young kids as we watched and more details. our local affiliate watched what was going on and caught up with a mother who was thankful to the teacher who saved her son's life. >> i am so grateful to the teacher. >> she saved his life? >> she definitely did.
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she pulled him and another child into the classroom. >> what are could have driven a man to open fire on defenseless children? i am joined by a psychiatrist and chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. you are a highly trained medical professional and walk through what goes through your mind when you hear the details of a mass killing like this in an elementary school. >> i think for most of us here in los angeles, you think about your own children. these events make you want to hug your kids a bit tighter tonight. i have three children as you know, wolf, and having covered so many of these tragedies as have you, it is common for lots of people around the country and around the world who were not involved with this to have symptoms and to really be affected by this.
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in many ways. many people are going through the same thing. your community and the people around you become a real sense of support. if people develop these symptoms and it can last for days. if they develop into nightmares or anxiety or depression, it is time to see somebody and get help. there going to be people who need that as a result of what happened. wolf, something you talked about, we talked about together. s that this notion that we think of mental health as being vague and harder to target and predict and harder to treat. much in the same way we think of heart disease or cancer, they can be predicted and can be treated. one of the thirst things that went through my mind is this is a reminder. >> lisa is here. so many experts said after other killings along this line over the years, there these warning signs and a lot of folks and
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family members don't pay attention. >> that's not entirely fair. i will tell you why. i have been in this business for 25 years. there plenty of families who are distraught and have members of their family who are children that they know are dangerous and live with this anguish of not being able to do anything for them for weeks and months and years. the reality is we don't have the legislation that a lllows the officials to do what must be done until the person committed a crime and that's what when they come to the attention. it's not true that people are in denial. >> what are the warning signs that people should be looking to start killing kids? >> there plenty of families who do respond to the warning signs and will call the authorities. >> what are they? >> they will see a child is angry, isolated, clearly
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potentially responding to ought tori hallucinations and hear voices and maybe a fascination with guns and maybe at a shooting range. they know something is wrong. you can't call and say my son is acting weird, he needs help. they don't have justification. in most jurisdictions, it is almost impossible to intervene in a way that can protect our society. the legislation has to be changed so we act before a crime. >> sanjay, you study the brain all the time. are there chemical imbalances here and chemical problems that could create a killer like this? >> i think so and i agree with your guest as well. these things used to be in the realm of the anecdotal and there is evidence of what we can see happening in the brain. there may be people who are more predisposed or set up for it and
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something pushes them over the edge. it is clear and most of these situations. i think that to think of mental illness as a disease and when you think about it like that, it changes everyone's perspective and you think about it more like you would think of someone with heart problems or cancer or diabetes. it changes perspective of how you potentially think about it and getting it diagnosed and treated. i agree with the guests. it's hard to do. we are not talking about showing up and taking a family member away, but someone being able to talk about it openly and make sure they have the resources and they can go see somebody. it's not easy and not even available for many people around the country. >> if no one committed a crime and there signs out there, letters and i want to go out there and kill people and they are going to practice ranges, is it usually an indication of a psychiatric problem that can be
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treated for example with medicine? >> sure if you can get them to take it. usually when you have a person like that, they won't acknowledge there is anything wrong. try getting them into treatment and getting them to take the pill. they won't do it. not everybody is out there doing this, but for those who do, it's because they have most likely refused treatment. i will bet you anything that most of the people that we are talking about and the one person we are talking about today was clearly to his family a danger and they just didn't know what to do. they didn't have the legislation and that's the problem, to back them up to take action. i will at this. a number of decades ago, we were fearful that people be into a hospital because they were different. we wanted to protect them and we enacted laws to protect people. we had gone too far in that direction. now we have to face the reality. acknowledge that we have to step up our work and getting people
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into treatment when they need it. letting doctors make the decisions and not just lawyers and judges. >> thanks for that expertise. sanjay, thanks to you as well. let's bring you up to date on what we know so far in the deadly shooting at sandy hook elementary school. we are awaiting a live press conference coming up before the top of the hour. here's what we know. 27 people are confirmed dead. 20 children and six adults and the alleged shooter. we just learned that the mother of the suspected shooter was found dead in her son's home near the school. we also have been told by a source that nobody has been found in a house searched by authorities in hoboken, new jersey although the search continues. a law enforcement source said the gunman was dressed in what are described as black battle fatigues and a military vest. the source said the semi
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automatic weapon was found along with two hand guns. the connecticut governor dan malloy has been meeting with the parents of the children killed in the horrible tragedy and spoke out a little while ago. >> you can never be prepared for this kind of incident. what happened and what transpired at the school building will leave a mark on this community and every family impacted. i only ask that all of our fellow citizens in the united states and around the world who have offered their assistance remember all of the victims in their prayers. to all of you in the media, we will do our west to keep you as informed as we can. after i'm done speaking, a representative of the state police will speak to you and
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give you additional information. earlier a number of our citizens, beautiful children had their life taken away from them as well as adults whose responsibility it was to educate and supervise those children. >> connecticut governor dan malloy. we are awaiting a press briefing by the state police that is supposed to happen before the top of the hour. cnn's ashleigh banfield is in newtown, connecticut and joins us once again. describe a little bit more of the mood of what you are feeling over there and seeing. >> reporter: >> it seems every ten minutes there is another dozen or so reporters and trucks and gear that shows up. this is obviously an extraordinary story of national and international importance as international countries start to respond to this. it's obvious from the number of people who are coming to report it how hard hitting this has
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been for so many people. i want to let you know mechanics of how things are playing out. as nightfalls over the town, the firehouse has been a center for the parents and dan malloy, the governor himself who was the one who broke it to many of the parents who were still waiting there earlier this evening and had not been reunited with their children. he broke it to the parents that if you haven't been reunited by now, it's over. the problem is they can't make a positive and formal notification. as you heard the state police saying earlier, the id process is going to be an overwhelming task with that many tiny bodies and those six adults as well. 18 little bodies that have to be identified is a massive crime scene and a massive undertaking. it undoubtedly will go on throughout the night. i wanted to let you know another detail. the principal is one of the
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victims. she had just this fall instituted a brand-new security system at the school in which like in many schools if you want to visit the school, you have to hit a buzzer. you are seen by an electronic system and be buzzed in. those lockdown by 9:30. before 9:30 you can go in and out. after 9:30, it's the buzz in process. possibly he got in before that happened and who knows since he a connection to the school according to police that it would have been an easy access anyway. a basketball coach at the school told him he had two children in the school. they are okay, but they are terrified tonight. color from the parents who are coming out of the school and are reunited with their children. it has been difficult. of course this reporting from our susan candiotti saying the mother of the shooter was found
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in her son's residence. trying to put the pieces together, but the state police announced earlier that the shooter had targeted a person that he lived with. it was a family member he lived with. whether or not this was the mother's residence, the kindergarten teacher who suffered at the hands of the shooter, whether it was hers or his residence or they shared the residence is unclear. that is the secondary crime scene here in connecticut that they are looking into. as far as how this night will progress for not only the families affected, but this town. there two vigils that will get under way about 7:00 tonight at two churches. we have seen signs elsewhere for smaller vigils as restaurants and businesses. definitely two at two of the churches here in town that should get under way at 7:00 tonight. i can't even describe the mood
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for you. i'm sorry. it's one of the things that i think we will all know where we were when we heard the news break. >> we will and you live not that far away in connecticut. give us a little sense of this newtown that maybe our viewers around the united states and the world are not familiar with this part of connecticut and this town. >> it is very remote. earlier today when this was breaking, i described it as off the grid. very remote and rural. gently rolling hilling and thick wooded areas and large properties that are few and far between the pous hows and spread out. definitely the kind of place you would say you could never imagine it happening here. a lot of people say that, but this is not the kind of place you would think something would happen like this. not only that, it's remote in the sense that yes, some people who live here do commute to new york city for work, but it's a long commute.
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i commute an hour every day to where i live and this is a solid hour and a half. it's a longer commute, but the people who live here live here for the safety and the security and the terrific school system. this is what you hear over and over. we came here because it's the place to be save and secure and ensure our children are going to have a great upbringing. that's what we hear over and over. this is so unbelievable that this can happen in a place that is like a hell scene when you drive through. >> the connecticut state police will come once again and brief us on what's going on. they have been cooperative and not providing names yet. not providing specific information because this is an ongoing investigation and only just beginning. >> yeah. just imagine the bullets that were described to us earlier today from a parent who was in a meeting with some of the school
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teachers and principal and the school psychologist and said it sounded as though there were at least a hundred rounds. imagine the amount of investigation that has to go on before they can really piece together what happened here. they have to do this. obviously with the reports that the shooter is dead, that does help in the matter in terms of not trying to amount to prosecution and collect that kind of evidence, but let me tell you, 18 little children's bodies are in that school right now. two additional children were rushed to the hospital that died in the hospital. adult bodies are here and the shooter himself. what might be different than investigating the columbine massacre as compared to this one, police tell us it was in a concentrated area. you saw the report showing the lay out of the school. it's essentially two rooms where
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most of the killings took place. it's hard to say that because i know i'm talking about an elementary school. that's what they are up against right now. positive identification of each and every one of of the children and adults and the grand away of the bullets and the fragments and the bullets and disaster and try to come up with a forensic story. >> we will stand by with the next briefing. stand by for that as well. we are getting more information and we will take a quick break and resume our special coverage after this. sometimes, i can't believe the things i'm able to do. without shriners hospitals, my life would be completely different.
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>> we will carry this around forever. this town will never be the same, i'm sure. what i find myself talking to other people, i can't believe i am comparing this with the worst
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tragedies in the united states. columbine and the virginia shooting. >> 26 people gunned down by a shooter. six adults and 20 children age 5 to 10. in the small town in connecticut. newtown, connecticut. rare if ever we see the president of the united states cry during an address to the nation, but we did see that today when president obama spoke to the country not just as the commander in chief, but also as a father. >> i know there is note a parent in america who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that i do. the majority of those who died today were children. beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.
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they had their entire lives ahead of them. birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. among the fallen were also teachers. men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. so our hearts are broken today. for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children and for the families of the adults who were lost. >> there is the white house right now. you can only imagine the conversation the president and the first lady are having with their two daughters right now like million of other parents are having with their children. you saw the flag half-staff at
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the white house. the president ordered all flags half-staff between now and december 18th in memory of those killed today in newtown, connecticut at sandy hook elementary school. let's bring in jessica yellin. you covered this and have you ever seen the president like this before? >> no, wolf. i have never seen the president so emotional. he was crying not just in that clip, but throughout his comments today. openly wiping away tears the whole time and speaking in incredibly personal and emotional terms. the president unfortunately has come out and addressed the nation repeatedly after mass shootings and wolf, usually when he does, he tries to find a silver lining and talks about an heroic act by somebody who was with victims in the room or a medical miracle that happened at the hospital. a story of american resilience.
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today the facts were too grim. instead of playing consoler in chief, he led the nations in grieving and expressing our own sadness and in mourning. you can see the president almost struggle for his own composure at one point. he talked about his girls are slightly older than these kids, but you see how much it hit him on a personal level and how he talked about this sort of being a moment for everybody to put aside whatever differences we have and focus on your own lives and what you can be grateful for and help others. i would point out that he did say while this is not a time to talk policy and i will quote, we are going to have to coming to and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics. we have to to wonder if that's an indirect reference to
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fighting for some of those assault weapons banned and reinstatement he once supported or other gun actions he once stood for and has not fought for in the first term. we will follow-up on that at another time. >> any indication when the president will be going to connecticut? >> no. i asked at the white house and they said they don't have any travel to announce to connecticut, but you and i both know that will no doubt most likely appear on the president's schedule sometime next week. i would expect at some point he would put in calls to either families of the victims or of the survivors, but i asked about that and they have nothing to report yet. >> thanks very much. a powerful moment at the white house where we saw the president of the united states repeatedly wiping away tears as he spoke about this massacre at this school in connecticut. we are standing by to hear from the connecticut state police. they are about to brief us once again on the latest information coming in.
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looking at live pictures from newtown, connecticut. getting ready to hear from the connecticut state police. they'll brief us on the latest communication coming in. paul vance will tell us the latest as we await this briefing. i want to bring in tom fuentes, the fbi's former assistant director. tom, thanks very much for helping us in a situation like this. i want to clarify what we earlier like other news organizations were reporting, that the suspected shooter was ryan lanza, age 24. we now believe the shooter was not ryan lanza. ryan lanza was taken into custody, we're told, earlier in the day. that perhaps his brother was the suspected shooter, perhaps the connecticut state police, lieutenant paul vance, will clarify this. but we're getting more information on what's going on. so we do know that lanza's mother was among those killed, found dead at the -- at her home near the school.
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she was a teacher at this school, the sandy hook elementary school. when you heard all these details coming in and you've studied these kinds of mass killings over the years, what did you think? >> to be frank, wolf, as i was hearing the early reports and you had many news organizations reporting who was where, who was killed, who was the shooter. and then when the police did their briefing, they wouldn't confirm it. that told me immediately that there's a lot of false or conflicting or confusing information being put out and the police were still in the process of trying to sort out exactly what they had and exactly the identity of that shooter. so that's why oftentimes in the race to get news out first, it's not necessarily the right story. >> what is the role of the fbi in a mass murder like this? >> in a case of this, whether it's one person or a mass murder, the police are in charge. so in this case -- >> the local police or the state police? >> that's to be worked out by agreement between the city, town, county and state police
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but it's a local matter. it's for the connecticut authorities to determine who's in charge. if it was organized crime or if it was an act of terrorism, it would be a federal violation. as soon as they determine that the shooter is not a member of some neo-nazi militia group or something where he's a terrorist -- >> or a hate crime, the fbi would get involved. >> or a hate crime. but as soon as it appears it's going to be a disturbed individual, then pretty much the police are going to be in charge of this. also, from the law enforcement standpoint, it really is not critical at that point whose case it will be. it doesn't appear there's going to be a prosecution if the shooter -- the offender is dead and no other participants or co-conspirators are identified. in this case, the police, the fbi, the atf, all other agencies from the area that will be working on this will be working very closely together but it will be under the command of the local authorities.
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>> because connecticut state police says the shooter is dead, no one shot at the shooter. we assume the shooter wound up killing himself after killing all these kung kids and killing the adults. but if others may have known about these plans, there could be criminal prosecutions of others who may have known about it. >> there could be. but often there's not in these cases. you may have other members of the family or friends or maybes who say, well, i knew he wasn't normal, i knew he had some problems but i didn't think he would go this far, i didn't know he had guns, didn't know he was planning the event. but that's part of what the investigation is going to be all about in the days ahead is obtaining his e-mail records and phone records to see who has he been in contact with and what did he tell them? what do others that knew him -- what do they know about his thought process leading up to the event. >> you've been involved in law enforcement your whole life.
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anything we can learn from this and move forward to try to make sure it doesn't happen again? >> no. >> it's going to happen again? >> it's going to happen again. we don't change anything of the basics. we haven't made the improvements of our mental health system to take care of people who are severely disturbed. we haven't done anything to prevent the severely disturbed from obtaining the weapons that are so prevalent in our society. as long as you have disturbed people able to obtain weapons and act out with those weapo weapons -- >> a lot of folks will say that assault weapons are too available, too easy to get. >> what we say now is we can't talk about it. everybody's in mourning. it's too soon, it's not appropriate. so later when it is appropriate, we don't care. and nothing changes. and i had a daughter at virginia tech down the hall from the first shooting, people were killed in a room ten rooms away.
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what's changed in the state of virginia? not one thing. >> your daughter okay? >> yes. >> thank god for that. tom, thanks very much for coming in. brian todd is bringing us some of the most emotional reaction coming in so far today. >> reporter: the account of a young boy said to be delivering an attendance report to the office at sandy hook elementary school when the shooting took place is surreal. >> i saw the boards going past the hall that i was right next to. and then a teacher pulled me into her classroom. >> reporter: he said he heard a sound like someone kicking a door. his mother, clinging to him, had words of thanks. >> i'm just so grateful to the teacher who saved him. >> you think the teacher saved his life. >> she definitely did. he had bullets going by him and she grabbed him and another child and pulled them into a classroom. >> reporter: brendan murray, a fourth-grader, described the chaos. >> i was in the gym at the time.
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so the teachers -- we hear lots of bangs. and we thought that it was the custodian knocking stuff down. we heard screaming. and so we went to the wall and we sat down and then the police came in. it's like, is he in here? then he ran out. and our teacher -- somebody yelled, get to a safe place. so we went into the closet in the gym and we sat there for a little while. then the police were knocking on the door and they're like, we're evacuating people. >> reporter: cnn is only airing sound of children whose parents gave permission. as one woman walked away from the school, she was heard crying, why, why? a policeman was heard saying, it was the worst thing he'd seen in his career. a nurse from nearby danbury
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hospital described the scene there as parents waited for word about their children. >> these parents were waiting for their children to come out. they thought that they were still alive. there's 20 parents that were just told that their children are dead. it was awful. >> reporter: the father of a young girl who survived was just trying to process it all. >> it was shocking. >> here he is, the governor of connecticut, dan malloy. >> we have heard from in the ensuing hours since this unspeakable and tragic event occurred here. as you know, there are a number of victims, teachers, support personnel in the building and children, beautiful, beautiful children who had simply come to school to learn and their day ended a very different way than any of us could possibly have
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imagined. and quite frankly as we stand here today, still can't imagine what transpired there. evil visited this community today. it's too early to speak of recovery. but each parent, each sibling, each member of the family has to understand that connecticut -- we're all in this together. we'll do whatever we can to overcome this event. we will get through it. but this is a terrible time for this community and for these families. our police personnel and others are doing the utmost to clear
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this situation as soon as possible and to return these children to their parents or these loved ones to their fellow loved ones as quickly as possible. and we'll work with all of the residents of this community and connecticut to make sure that we do, in fact, get through this. i was mayor of stamford on 9/11 when our state lost many of its citizens and i lost a number of my fellow citizens and friends. i never thought that in a public career that i would have to face these kinds of circumstances or that they would visit themselves upon this community or the people of connecticut. we'll get through this. and our prayers at this time
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have to go out to the families. and so as i began by thanking those who have expressed their desires to be helpful, the number one way to be helpful is to say a prayer or send a best wish or to be thinking of these individuals who have suffered so mightily today. thank you. >> that's the governor of connecticut, dan malloy. i think we're going to be hearing from lieutenant paul vance as well from the connecticut state police. if he comes to those microphones, of course, we're anxious to hear what he says. it looks like he's not speaking over there. but we will continue to monitor what's going on. a horrific, horrific day in connecticut as we're watching this story unfold. the breaking news continuing to explode not only here in the united states but around the
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world. w we want to welcome our viewers from around the world. the state police lieutenant, paul vance, he tells me authorities are interviewing everyone who possibly had any connection to the suspected gunman. kate bolduan is here helping us with our coverage as well. this is a story that continues to resonate for parents, grandparents, loved ones, everyone, those kids, and a situation like this unfolds, it's hard to believe. >> everyone has been affected by this and will continue to be affected by this. the governor, i think, said it well and very simply put that evil has visited that town today. i think that's absolutely at least one thing that we can all be sure of that has happened. the investigation is unfolding. the grieving, though, is only beginning. a church vigil, many are under way and due to start soon in newtown where this tragedy has unfolded. let's bring in our jason carroll, who is on the ground there.
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jason, are you at the site of the vigil? >> reporter: that's correct. that vigil set to take place just about 7:00 here at st. rose lima church. i spoke to the dee can here earlier. it was an emotional discussion. he told me throughout the day, at least 100 people have come through the doors at the church here trying to find peace, looking for answers, trying to find some sort of comfort. so he has been doing that throughout the day. and this is personal to him. it's personal to this community. he told me that a number of the victims went to church here. this is where these children had their first communion. this is where they sat in the pews with their parents and listened to certainliens. he knew some of the victims and he talked about that just a little earlier. take a listen. >> this is a very tight-knit community, it's a large and dynamic parish. everybody knows everybody here. i don't know for sure, but i'm
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sure that quite a few of the kids that we lost today are in this parish. >> reporter: and i can also tell you that in terms of what people are asking is there are lots of questions. they're asking questions, why? why did something like this happen? and he said because of the newness of it all, there's no way to try to answer that with something profound. but he did say this, he said, quote, there are some questions that are only meant for god to answer. and he said, that is what he's telling people. listen to a little bit more in terms of what he had to say about that. >> i heard one of the victims -- i'm not sure about it. but i heard that one of the victims -- recently she -- i think it was birthday money. she got her birthday money. she donated it to the parish to give to the hurricane sandy victims.
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6 years old. so that's -- that makes it very, very personal and very intimate. >> reporter: and that was when he was telling me about a 6-year-old girl, one of the victims, he says, who went to this church. he used to look at this girl every sunday. so you can imagine how painful it is for him, how painful it is for this community. once again, the vigil is expected to take place here at just about 7:00. when i asked what will be happening, he said, this is unlike any vigil obviously they've ever had in the past. and a lot of it's going to be off the cuff. there will be a mass. expected to last for about an hour. he said all we can continue to do throughout the night, throughout the coming days and the m cooing weeks is be there and try to provide comfort to these grieving families. >> jason, it seems the dee can himself is struggling for words and how to cope with this.
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has he at all been contacted by any of the families, anyone from the school? it seems it is a very small community there. >> reporter: he has. he has been in contact with the families. some of the other priests here have been down at the firehouse consoling the families throughout the day. and he has children himself. so this is personal for him. they did not go to this elementary school but to another one. but he knew these children. he knew the faculty at the school. the faculty sat in these pews as well. and so not only does he have to provide comfort to some of the victims, the victims' families, but he also has to try and find understanding himself because in his words, he's got to be their rock. he's got to be the person here providing the support, which is difficult for him. he said what he's going to do is take a little bit of a break, go home, hug his own daughter, give thanks and come back and provide the support that is so badly needed here. >> being that rock, much easier said than done at a time like this when such unspeakable tragedy has hit such a small
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community. jason carroll live outside where a vigil will be starting in just about an hour from now. jason carroll, thanks so much. >> what a powerful, powerful report. let me just remind our viewers what's going on. for those who may just be tuning in, around 9:30, 9:40 a.m. this morning, a man went into a small elementary school in newtown, connecticut, and began killing people. 26 people all together. six adults and 20 children. this is a small elementary school. the sandy hook elementary school. fewer than 600 children in that school. only grades kindergarten through fourth grade inside. we have no idea the motive, what was behind what was going on. 26 people were killed and then the shooter, we believe, killed himself. separately, the mother of the shooter, we believe, was killed separately at a home not far away from this school. you're looking at live pictures coming in from newtown,
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connecticut, right now. the police are continuing their investigation. and i suspect the connecticut state police will be briefing us fairly soon. these are pictures coming in from the sandy hook elementary school. susan candiotti is on the scene for us as she's been now for several hours. update our viewers. what's the latest, susan? >> reporter: the latest is that in addition to trying to piece all of this together to find out the motive, more about the shooter, we also understand that for a few hours now, police took into custody or at least took someone in for questioning someone who's been identified to us by sources as a brother of the dead shooter here involved in this school incident, the sxool shooting. and they're asking him questions about his brother. he is not being called a suspect at this time. but they do want to try to find out at the very minimum what information he may have about the dead gunman here at the
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school. also trying to find out more about the mother of the shooter who you know has been identified as a schoolteacher and she was found dead, we are told by sources, at a residence nearby the school here. so all of these pieces and parts of the puzzle being worked out at this moment by investigators to try and find out exactly what led into this and what the time line was as well, wolf. for example, was the mother shot before all of this began? we don't know. wolf? >> we can only imagine if the shooter, though, susan, was found dead at the scene, no one shot him, we assume the shooter committed suicide. and all that took place between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. or so, approximately 20 minutes or half an hour. the assumption i have is that the shooter presumably killed his mother at the home before driving over to the school.
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>> reporter: that seems to be, of course, a fair assumption here. but no one officially is saying that. in fact, they haven't even officially released the name of the gunman in this case. we do know from sources they recovered the at least three weapons from the scene. two of them handguns, including a glock and a sig sauer. and another one, a semiautomatic weapon identified as a .223 bushmaster. we don't know how many bullets were fired. a number of witnesses say there were a lot of bullets that were heard. we also do not know -- trying to find out, for example, how much ammunition the shooter came to the school with and did he have any extra magazines with him, gun magazines, ammo? those are the kinds of things we're also trying to find out, wolf. >> we'll be getting more information in the hours to come, susan, thanks very much. tom foreman is joining us now. he's been looking at the layout of this l skoo.
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what are you seeing, tom? >> susan was raising a good point as you have. piecing all this together is grim and difficult, difficult work because there are so many moving parts to this equation. that's what the investigators are trying to do right now. in more than 30 years of covering massacres and school shootings, i've seen this happen many times. the early hours, it's hard to know exactly what the time line was, exactly how things unfolded. we're piecing it together as best we can as well. so take this time line as being a bit loose but we'll work our way through it. about 9:30 this morning in this school, classes were under way here. they had a good crowd in there, about 600 students in the school, 50 faculty members. and at that time, a meeting had just broken out up in the beginning of the school here. a small meeting with the principal, vice principal, the school psychologist and a few adults up here in a room near the office. school started at 9:05. at 9:30, half an hour under way,
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they'd be going up there. at 9:40-ish, best we can tell, it's different depending on whom you talk to, somewhere around 9:40 is when it would appear that this gunman enters the building. how? we don't really know. police have spent a lot of time today -- keep see pg pictures of a black car. they've been looking at that car right here. if that is connected to the crime as we think and based on what the eyewitnesses have said, that would suggest the gunman came in through the front door here. this little red part here is a covered walkway. he would have come in here. and everything transpired in this area. as soon as he came in, from all we hear from various people there, people throughout this entire building started hearing shots being fired. some of them thought it sounded like hammering. some of them heard loud bangs. some of them also knew what it was. by 9:41, we had calls going in
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to 911. the principal, vice principal and school psychologist who were in that meeting came out and went toward the gunfire, according to a witness. they headed toward it but only the vice principal returned and the vice principal was wounded in the leg or the foot. it's not clear which. nonetheless, at this point, everything is clearly getting very tense because people know something is going on that's very bad there. now, the time line gets even looser at this point because we don't know how the progress of the gunfire went. we know that the people who were in this meeting and witnesses up here said they heard a tremendous number of shots. we know they heard yelling and screaming. authorities say the actual shooting happened over a relatively short period of time for all the shots that apparently were fired. and the gunman did not roam around. but, again, generally from all accounts, stayed right in this area in two rooms in terms of where all the shooting happened.
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and in fact, he was found in one of those rooms. now, at the same time that all this is happening -- again, bear in mind, this is a very loose time line we're talking about here. the teachers are trying to protect students all over this school. in some cases, they seem to be trying to get some of them out. in many other cases, they're trying to hide them within the school. they're locking the doors, going into lockdown as people described it and say they have to stay there and be safe. that's not really clear because some of the students are talking about being evacuated and it's not clear if a teacher tried to lead them out or as, in this case, law officers were leading them out which happened a little bit later. the bottom line is, though, as this progresses, the gunfire seems to have stopped. at some point law officers arrived on the scene from both the local police and the state police, local police said fo the state police, we know we have a serious issue here. it is not clear when in this process the gunman dies somewhere up in here. we know from lawmen that none of
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the officers fired a shot during this time. as you suggested a moment ago, wolf, that would suggest that somehow he shot himself at that point. but we do know that when these officers arrive at the school, they quickly sealed the entire school off and they spread into the school rapidly, locking down everything. making sure there's no other gunman. and frankly looking for those children who are hiding in there. and i know from past school shootings, this can be a very, very dangerous time simply because these officers are possibly looking for a gunman but they're suddenly walking past closets very opening and people are coming out and they walk past doorbayways and people emerge behind them. it's a very dangerous, tense time when officers have to be very professional and disciplined and make sure something awful beyond the horrid event that's already happened does not occur. bottom line, those officers went in, they secured the school, they started clearing the kids out of the school. and when all is said and done,
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this whole event probably took 20 to 25 minutes, maybe 30, wolf, from a normal morning at school to this tremendously awful event that will be around a long time. and now comes to long, complicated work of figuring out exactly how those events unfolded and when. >> can only imagine the horror that these parents, the kids, they felt as this was unfolding. tom, thanks very much for that update on what we know right now. mary snow is in newtown for us as well. i understand you just spoke with a mother and a child who was in the school during the shooting? >> reporter: yes. we're outside a church where people have been coming to come and just say some prayers. a mother took her 9-year-old boy -- he heard gunshots.
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he heard yelling and then at one point his teachers told the children to hold hands and to run as fast as they could and to not look into the principal's office as they passed. and he said he did. they ran out of the school. and then they were taken to a firehouse. and that is where parents were reunited with their children. obviously talking to him and his mother, just so stunned. and they've come here just for a short time for some peace. and people have been filing in. there is going to be a vigil here later tonight. and others are coming out talking about stories that they have heard of teachers really trying to protect these children. >> mary, you were outside the suspect's house, i guess, where the mother was found dead
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inside. describe what you saw there. >> reporter: police were on the scene for several hours and it was blocked off. from where we were standing, i was told by some of the residents that the house was about a quarter of a mile in the road. so we couldn't get that close to the house. but there were more than a dozen law enforcement vehicles. by the time we got there, the road was blocked off. we saw s.w.a.t. teams at the scene. and then in the 3:00 hour, we did see an ambulance leave that house. but residents were evacuated. one woman i talked to said police came to her door at around 11:00 in the morning and told her she needed to leave right away. sh escorted back for a short time later in the afternoon but buzz then told again to get out. and as far as i know, is still out of that home. >> mary, we'll stay in close touch with you. obviously you're collecting more information as this story unfolds.
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>> as mary was recounting her conversation with one student and their mother as this all unfolded early this morning, let's take a listen to another student and her parent as they open up about what happened. >> we saw police officers and we heard them on the roof and in our building. >> i was pretty shaken up, didn't know who or what happened. i knew there were shooters in the building or a shooter. just worried about who else was left in the building at this time. >> it doesn't even seem real. it just does not seem like it's even possible. you read it in the paper, see it in the news. you're like, oh, my god, that poor family. and then you have something happen so close to home, it's like, i think i'm still in shock, to be honest with you. >> the police were knocking on the door and they're like, we're
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evacuating people, we're evacuating people. so we ran out. there was police about at every door. they were leading us down this way, down this way, quick, quick, come on. and we ran down to the firehouse. there was a man pinned down to the ground with handcuffs on. and we thought that was -- we didn't get a good glance at him because there was a car blocking it. plus we were running really quick. >> it may not seem real but you can be sure the reality of this tragedy is setting in for so many families this evening. cnn will be providing updates on ways you can help the victims of this tragedy and their families. go to for the latest information on that. we'll be right back. anncr: some politicians seem to think medicare and... social security are just numbers in a budget. well, we worked hard for those benefits. we earned them. and if washington tries to cram decisions about the future... of these programs into a last minute budget deal...
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he said, i have nobody to play with now. excuse me. >> so many people have been moved, understandably so. i don't know how people can cope right now. >> words cannot express. you can just see the sorrow on everyone's face. you can see the pain even in the president's words today. this is just a moment when it is difficult to wrap your mind around how this could happen. >> the president of the united states has to hold back tears and starts crying speaking to the american people. >> it is a national tragedy. >> i spoke just a little while ago with a man whose 8-year-old daughter attends the sandy hook elementary zool. tell us where you were and what was going on, your connection to the school. >> my daughter's a third-grader. and she was there actually in her reading class. they heard bangs.
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and thank god for mrs. summers. her reading teacher grabbed my daughter and brought her into a bathroom and locked the door. along with another teacher. and in a short time, some police somehow was able to get them out of there and escort them through the hallway. unfortunately it was a pretty messy scene for my daughter. >> earlier in the day, i spoke with your wife, lisa. she says your daughter seems to be okay. you also have a 10-year-old son. how are the kids doing now is? >> i don't know if my daughter is in shock or what. she's doing incredibly well. my son is doing great, too. but there are a lot of fears that this kind of thing -- everything -- the game's changed from this point onward. >> what does that mean when you say the game has changed -- >> i mean, my kids are already asking when's this going to happen again? it was only a week ago that we
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were talking about this type of situation and i said, the chances of it happening are one in a zillion at sandy hook. and i was wrong about that. >> we know, declan, you knew the principal well. she was killed in this mass murder today. tell us a little bit about her. >> she just -- she was just so nice and she loved her job. and she actually on a couple of occasions went out of her way just to help us with certain things that we were working on with our daughter. this is all so surreal. so please forgive me if i'm a little cloudy right now. >> no, believe me, we appreciate what you're going through. we can't even imagine what you're going through. john king is with us as well. he's got a question. >> sir, sadly in any community when tragedy like this happens, there are always questions about the notification system. how did you first learn? how specific was that
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information and obviously the officials at the school were dealing with a tragedy on the scene? but do you think that part of it was handled appropriately? >> i think it's the best they could do. i don't know how you really prepare for something this crazy. my wife called me. i work down in new york and my wife called me and told me there had been a shooting and so i rushed home. my wife was already in town and she ran there. but so far, the newtown school system has been great in leaving automatic phone updates with all the parents. >> sad story. quick question before i let you go, declan. at some point you're going to have to make a decision about letting your kids go back to the sandy hook elementary school. what are you going to do? >> well, i mean, this is all so new. i've been talking to my kids and explaining, look, this is what happen happened.
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you do your best to communicate with them and you do your best to -- it's funny, a bomb hit, there's a lot of smoke and it's still here. i haven't had my -- enough time to really plan. but hopefully by the time they do go back to school, i'll have done a good enough job of talking to my kids and making them feel at least the most comfortable they could. >> how's your wife, lisa, doing? >> well, she's hanging in there. >> please give all of them our love, our sympathy, our support. and we wish them only the best, declan. a parent of two kids from that sandy hook elementary school. we're following the breaking news here in "the situation room." one of the worst school shootings in american history, even more horrific because the carnage was at an elementary school. here's what we know right now. police say a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at the sandy hook elementary school in
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the small connecticut town of newtown. these were young kids, including kynaindergartener kindergarteners. terrified children were led out of the school after the shooting this morning holding onto one another. parents rushed to the scene to find out if their children were dead or alive. >> these parents were waiting for their children to come out. they thought that they were still alive. there's 20 parents that were just told that their children are dead. it was awful. >> police have not identified the gunman but they say he did die at the scene, apparently killing himself. we are told the mother of the suspected shooter has been found dead at her son's home in newtown. an emotional president obama wiped away tears as he offered support and prayers for the families of the victims of the school tragedy. >> this afternoon, i spoke with
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governor malloy and fbi director mueller. i offered governor malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families. we've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. and each time i learn the news, i react not as a president but as anybody else would, as a parent. and that was especially true today. i know there's not a parent in america who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that i do. the majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.
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they had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. so our hearts are broken thousand dollar for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children and for the families of the adults who were lost. our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well. for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children's innocence has been torn away from them too early
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and there are no words that will ease their pain. as a country, we have been through this too many times, whether it's an elementary school in newtown or a shopping mall in oregon or a temple in wisconsin or a movie theater in aurora or a street corner in chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. and we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics. this evening, michelle and i will do what i know every parent in america will do, which is hug our children a little tighter and we'll tell them that we love them and we'll remind each other how deeply we love one another. but there are families in connecticut who cannot do that tonight. and they need all of us right
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now in the hard days to come. that community needs us to be at our best as americans and i will everything in my power as president to help. because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours. may god bless the memory of the victims and in the words of sp rishgsczer, heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds. >> you see a live picture of the white house flag flying at half staff.
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it's not often if ever you see a president of the united states break down like that. >> absolutely not. he's known to be very stoic even going as far as saying he can come off as standoffish. but not the case today. he said, our hearts are broken today. i think everyone watching how this is unfolded throughout the day -- all asking the same question, how did this happen, why did this happen? and everyone's searching for if there are any kind of words that could be said to try to help these families begin to heal. we all know that thog can fill that void right now. >> he break down the first time when he said these kids were 5 years old to 10 years old and he spoke as a parent. he's got two girls he sends to school every day. you assume they're safe and secure and they're going to come home every day. and what happens like this? all of a sudden, boom, it's such
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a shock. dr. drew pinsky is joining us for a little analysis. dr. drew, you see the president breaking down. people are breaking down all over the country right now just listening to the president. >> wolf, that's absolutely right. one of the most important things he did there was to show us, reflect for us feelings that we are all feeling. i don't know about you, every five minutes, i'm sort of taken over by a wave of a different feeling. i've gone from heartbreak like he mentioned. then i go to anger and rage and disgust. ten minutes ago, i was feeling numb and fatigued and depleted. now i'm back to disgusted again. i've completely, completely disgusted that we are here having this conversation about yet again another unbelievably senseless act. there is no reason for this. but i will tell you this. one of the things the president did say is that we need to say our prayers for the families that have lost someone in
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connecticut which categorically we do. but i'll tell you what, each and every one of us have to pay attention to our children in our families tonight because every family in america is affected by this event. that amazing interview you played a few moments ago from declan, the father of a young one at the school, his children were asking him, daddy, when is this going to happen again? that's the world we live in, wolf, where some people are being pushed in front of subways. people are not safe in the mall. they're not safe in their elementary school. when is this going to happen again? it's incumbent upon us, our households, our communities, to make sure now it never happens again. >> dr. drew, how do you begin -- what is your advice to parents as they're watching this? kids are very perceptive and can pick up signals from their parents and can see all this unfolding on the television if they're watching it. >> absolutely. >> what is your advice to parents and how they begin to explain this to children?
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because it's impossible for even us as adults to try to begin to wrap our minds around something like this. >> that's right. it's important to help them to try top identity their feelings, to reflect back to them, that it's appropriate to be scared, that it's reasonable to be confused, that this is senseless. but it's really our job to lead our families out of this and make them feel secure. think about our family systems in this country today. not every child feels secure and safe in their family. and it is incumbent upon the big people to take care of the little people so that horrible things like this don't happen when they grow up. so really it's double down, make your kids feel safe. allow them to express their feelings but let them know that you will be sure that they grow up and flourish because that is your job. >> and one quick final question, dr. drew, a little child sees mommy or daddy crying right now. they say, mommy, daddy, why are you crying? what do you say? >> you say, it's good.
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i'm having feelings about these poor people that have lost something. i'm having a feeling. don't worry. it's not because of you. children will feel that everything that happens in hair life is because of them and everything that has happened in the world is going to happen to them. so they feel vulnerable because other kids have been hurt and they're going to feel out of control when they see you be emotional. but just express it. i think the president did a wonderful job today of really modeling that sort of behavior for each and every one of us. but it's also important for us to hear from our leaders that it's going to be okay. the governor of connecticut said connecticut will get through. those are more the reassuring words that we all have to hear so we can each individual lead our communities, lead our households. >> dr. drew pinsky from our sister network, hln. dr. drew, thanks very much. powerful, very important words. let's take another quick break, resume our special coverage of this horrific tragedy in connecticut right after this. capella university understands businesses are trying to come
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susan candiotti is on the scene for us in newtown, connecticut. susan, i understand you're getting new information about the shooter. >> reporter: that's right. and contrary to conflicting information that investigators themselves had earlier and had passed on, we can now tell you according to several sources that the name of the shooter in this case is adam lanza. he is 20 years old and his brother's name is ryan lanza. it is adam lanza, 20 years old, who is the shooter. his brother, ryan, is the one that was taken away for questioning by authorities in hoboken, new jersey, and is expected that he will be released. he is not considered a suspect. we don't know when he will be released. we also have this additional information that the father of the shooter. there is no indication that the
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broth father is a suspect in this case. he is divorced from nancy lanza, identified as a victim in this case. he remarried and lives in the same area where this shooting occurred. so that is the new information that we have about now. we have the name of the shooter as adam lanza, 20 years old. his older brother, ryan, 24 years old, is the one who was questioned in hoboken, new jersey. he is expected to be released. we don't know when. the father of both of them also questioned for information about the shooter in this case, his son. but there is no indication that the father is considered a suspect in any way. wolf? >> just to recap, the video that we saw of somebody being taken away, this is ryan lanza, there it is, courtesy of our affiliate wcbs in new york. that is line lanza. i believe he's 24 years old. he's the older brother of the man now suspected of being the
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shooter, adam lanza who's 20 years old. there you see the police officer taking ryan lanza away. their mother, nancy lanza, was found dead in the house in newtown. that's right, susan? >> reporter: that's right. that is correct. she was found dead at that residence here in newtown. and we are still waiting for all of these names to be officially released by authorities. they haven't done so yet. but we've been able to confirm this through several law enforcement sources. >> and the parents are divorced and so the father lives elsewhere. and there's no indication he had any knowledge of anything along these lines, is that right? >> reporter: there's no indication of that at all, no indication of that at all, wolf. >> susan, thanks for clarifying that. i suspect those microphones behind you will be used fairly soon, the connecticut state police, local law enforcement, i assume, will be coming to brief the news media on specific information. but there you have it, kate.
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the latest information from susan candiotti. >> doing great reporting for us. let's go to producer adam reese. he's on the ground in hoboken, new jers. he's on the phone with us. adam, we were just seeing video from our affiliate, wcbs of the suspected shooter's brother. we're looking at it again here. this is the brother of the suspected shooter, this man's name that you're seeing in this video is ryan lanza, we are told. and the shooter, as susan candiotti, is learning from sources, is adam lanza. what more are you learning on the ground in hoboken this evening? >> reporter: well, the police here have just opened up the streets outside his apartment, 1313 grand, the name of the building is called the metropolitan. the police have just dropped the police tape, opened up the streets there are still several offices and an fbi agent in front of the building making sure only residents go into the building. as you just reported, the shooter's brother, ryan lanza
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was taken from this apartment building earlier today in handcuffs. he looked a little bit dazed based on the video we saw. the building is a five-story building, one, two and three-bedroom apartments. it's a residential neighborhood. hoboken is a growing community of professionals. it's right on the water facing manhattan. in addition to ryan lanza, two roommates were taken into custody. they were taken in for questioning but they are not believed to be associated with the shooting, at least according to the police chief who briefed the media here earlier today. so there's still plenty of media. but i can say this scene here has died down quite a bit. >> adam, you said the authorities seem to be opening up the street near this apartment building where ryan lanza lives. we must take that as an indication that they don't think
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there's any more investigation that needs to occur there which works with the reporting from susan candiotti that her sources say that she believes that ryan lanza will be released from police custody at some point, she just doesn't know when. >> reporter: that's my understanding as well. that he will be released at some point, that he is being questioned and apparently we are told he is being cooperative. and we are waiting for his return here at the apartment building. >> adam, many threads to follow in this still-developing story and this tragedy as we're watching. thank you so much. >> joe johns is here, our crime and justice correspondent. you're getting more information on the weapon or weapons that were used today? >> right. we're talking about three different guns here, a glock, a sig sauer and a bushmaster .223. that was the kind of weapon that was used in the beltway sniper shootings years and years ago. an assault weapon.
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it turns out, according to law enforcement sources, who have talked to our carol kraddy, that all three of these weapons were registered to the mother of the shooter. >> nancy lanza. >> nancy lanza. that's right. we don't know anything more about that. we do know that the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms does lots and lots of tracing of these weapons whenever you have a situation like this. they believe that they're going to go through all their traps. but bottom line is, these weapons were apparently purchased legally by nancy lanza, not by the shooter, adam. and that apparently is the end of the investigation. >> adam lanza is dead, apparently took his own life, the 20-year-old shooter. nancy lanza is dead, she was killed at presumably at the house in newtown, connecticut. this information, carol, i'm getting information from her as well, these are records that come in from the connecticut firearms registration system
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which is a pretty sophisticated gun control operation in connecticut. >> yeah, it's a complicated trace that the atf has to go through. they have to go to the manufacturer, then they have to go to the first distributor, then they have to go to the first purchaser. and if there's another purchaser, then they have to follow the chain all the way through. that's the way the law works. but a lot of times in these big cases, they're able to look at the situation, find out who owned the guns, who purchased the guns, very quickly. apparently the authorities have been able to run those traps. >> which she's also suggesting, the glock and the sig sauer handguns were found inside the school. >> right. and the bushmaster outside. >> found in the car. obviously that was not used. >> that's right. >> at least not in killing these kids, the teachers, the principal. >> absolutely. the question is, at least one of the many questions we've been asking the authorities and haven't been able to get to yet, is whether the magazines on those weapons were -- the large,
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extended magazines or whether they were the magazines that typically come with the firearms. that will be interesting. because that's all part of the gun control debate, whether those magazines are appropriate for people to have just on the streets. >> we saw the pictures of those guns. obviously they killed a lot of people. >> now i think -- let's take you to some live pictures i believe that we have. it's st. st. rose of lima roman catholic church. this is where we're speaking to a couple of our correspondents. this is where a vigil will be taking place starting any minute now. this is in newtown, connecticut. according to correspondents on the ground this has been a site where many people in the community have come to just seek some quiet, seek some solace, and jason carroll roll, our correspondent who's been on the ground, spoke with the deacon there earlier today and even the deacon found it very hard to find -- he was even lost for words, trying to figure out how to provide the kind of support
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and love to the many parishioners who will be coming there obviously for this vig jit. i think we see cars streaming in, it could be starting any minute now, you know we'll have much more live coverage of that as we'll be watching this unfold. >> what can you say, a story like this. >> nothing you can say. >> it's obviously a horrific, horrific tragedy. all of us, everyone in the country, everyone in the world might be watching right now, can relate. you send a kid to school, somebody in kindergarten, a first grade, second grade, third grade. joe, you're here. just so sad to think about it. let's take a quick break, resume our coverage right after this. and we can save you 10% on ground shipping over the ups store.
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[ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. these are live pictures of the st. rose of lima roman catholic church in newtown, connecticut. a vigil is about to begin right there. just a few moments ago we did get some reaction from someone who knew adam lanza, the suspected shooter in this case, the 20-year-old who went into that school and opened fire. >> just a kid. >> reporter: just a kid? never anti-social? >> no. adam's got a -- no. >> reporter: troublemaker? >> no, definitely not. >> reporter: noticeable? did he just kind of blend into the background? >> yeah. nothing -- nothing that would warrant any of this. >> reporter: they're saying he went after his mom and her class of kids. can you wrap your head around
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that? >> no, i cannot. i don't know who would do anything like this. >> reporter: so your general sense is what? >> this is -- this is unspeakable. i first heard about it -- i'm still in shock. just give me a moment, i want to go. i've got to go. >> very difficult time for so many people. >> yeah. that's some classmate of adam lanza, the 20-year-old shooter in this case, speaking out, saying he's just an average kid. >> average kid. we've heard that so many times. >> we always hear that. >> you always hear that, every time. >> shocked by what's going on. the president, the first lady, and many people all across the country may be having some heartfelt and difficult conversations with their kids tonight. you can be sure of that in the wake of the horrific connecticut school massacre. lease sa sylvester has more on this.
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>> reporter: if there's an image that sums up this story, it is this. any parent out there can relate. psychiatrist charles raisen is in the university of arizona college of medicine. >> how do you wrap your mind around something like this? with a good deal of heartbreak and with the understanding that it's going to take awhile. and that there will be people that were closely impacted by this who will never wrap their minds around this. you know, human minds are not infinite. you know, this is now appearing to be probably the worst schoolyard catastrophe in history. there's going to be a huge, long-term fallout for this that is also going to impact people's emotional well-being. and we need to gear ourselves up for that fallout because it's coming because this is a horrible thing. >> reporter: the news out of newtown is traumatic for parents and children. this happened at a school where kids are supposed to feel safe. >> how do you explain to the children? again, it depends on the age of the child, but i think simple, forthright explanations are the
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best. and i think one of the things that i tell children is, there are some bad people in the world. and sometimes bad people do really terrible things. and a terrible thing has happened and there have been some children killed. and this is terrible. but you're safe. and, you know -- you're safe, and you're in a situation now where you're not going to be harmed. >> reporter: the american academy of pediatrics offers this advice. take into account the age of the child and provide basic information without offering details that may only alarm them. ask your children what they already know and answer questions. parents can share their own feelings in the ways they're coping and find meaningful ways to help others. >> children are resilient and what really matters now is how we help them understand what's happened but even i think more important is the sense of protection and safety that we give them starting this moment and for the next weeks an


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